“You stress a lot,” Dr. Lakshman said, holding my wrist as he checked my pulse. I couldn’t understand how he could name many of the issues I was facing just by reading my pulse. Dr. Lakshman specialises in a range of disciplines, including paediatrics; eye care; ear, nose and throat (ENT) care; cancer care; Panchakarma (a process that cleanses the body of toxic materials left by disease, poor nutrition and environmental pollution); and Nadi Vigyan (an Ayurveda method of diagnosis based on a patient’s pulse) all from the astavaidyas of Kerala. He advises his patients to follow an Ayurveda diet and make appropriate lifestyle changes.
But that was what my experience was that evening with many of the medical experts I interacted with.
I was surrounded by a gaggle of healthy discussions, literally and figuratively. The Soneva Soul team was visiting Delhi. A newly launched wellness initiative by the luxury resorts chain, Soneva Soul is a concept that employs ancient traditional healing wisdom and blends it with the latest scientific innovations to offer a ‘lifestyle evolution’. The gathering saw a selection of experienced therapists, medical experts and wellness specialists from the team of Soneva Soul, and I got to interact with many of them. Dr. Michelle Valdes, a naturopathic physician, told me how with lots of small changes in her lifestyle and through practising naturopathy, she was able to treat her lupus. “I read so much about it that it made me think I might as well study properly in it, so I could help others. And help myself.” I asked her about some tips, lifestyle and dietary changes, and the ongoing medications to help my father with his hypertension. “Hibiscus tea, four times a day.”
Over dinner, an immaculate spread of all things plant-based curated by Chefs Suvir Saran and Vardaan Marwah, I got talking to Dr Eric Raymond Buckley, certified in sports medicine acupuncture, oncology acupuncture and is a classically trained Chinese medical herbologist. Over a plate of delicious harissa and honey-roasted butternut squash, which you could have easily mistaken for salmon going by just the presentation, we discussed the many benefits of acupuncture for chronic diseases. The menu for the evening was specially created, keeping the holistic lifestyle and diet ideals in mind. It started from a lip-smacking buttermilk gazpacho and progressed to an inventive seaweed avocado with pickled golden apple. And as we finished our last morsels with a decadent vegan chocolate ganache with fresh coconut milk ice cream, I was too full of good food and even better conversations.
Soneva Soul in Maldives offers a plethora of wellness options to choose from. When Dr. Valdes asked me to visit them soon, I could only nod my affirmation in excitement before reluctantly leaving for the night, already planning my next trip to the destination.